SELMA Toolkit in action, how to use it with young people, and how to develop and create their own awareness campaigns and activities.
In the “Flexing the SELMA activities” workshop, the SELMA Toolkit creators asked participants to test some materials to discuss afterwards how to use them with different student groups. In “The algorithm of hate speech workshop”, participants created their own visual flow chart to identify hate speech, which helped them understand the problems defining it.
Participants of the “Giving hate a platform?” workshop went through “The Platform dilemma” activity of the Toolkit, which encourages people to discuss what they would do if they were invited to a debate with a person accused of spreading hate. In the “Hacking Hate in the classroom” workshop, participants learnt some tips and tricks on how to deal with the topic of online hate in the classroom. Classroom activities should be engaging and should involve everyone. On the other hand, they should also be safe for all members of the classroom and not result in more controversy. Participants also discussed what hate messages are most unpleasant using this online tool.
Participants of the “Anti-Hate Speech Campaign Photo Shoot” workshop created their own campaigns against hate speech in just one hour. Ideas such as #GlitterAgainstHate, #Giveaheart, or “just flip hate for love” came up.
During a subsequent open mic session, participants shared their ideas from the “Anti-Hate Speech Campaign Photo Shoot” workshop and reflected on the most relevant Tweets posted with the conference hashtag #HackHateConf through the day.
The last panel discussion of the day looked at the future of online hate speech, and gave the floor to young people in particular. Jude, Anti-Bullying Ambassador from the United Kingdom, moderated the panel session with Mads (SELMA Hackathon winner) Jessica, (SELMA Hackathon participant), Sancia, a young songwriter from Northern Ireland, Tommaso Chiamparino, representative of the European Commission and Stephen Turner, Public Policy Manager at Twitter.
The panel started with a video from Mads presenting the winning idea of the SELMA Hacking Hate hackathon, a fair game platform to reward good behaviours in online games. Afterwards, Sancia delighted participants singing a song about why she feels we should all be tackling online hate speech. She composed it by herself when hearing back from the UK hackathon team. After that, Chiamparino and Turner addressed the questions from young people about the role of social media platforms and policy makers in fighting online hate speech.
Turner talked about how Twitter addresses hate messages while trying to respect freedom of expression. When he was asked about Donald Trump’s hate Tweets, he recognised that sometimes they have to make difficult decisions and take into account that some hate messages are part of the political debate.
On the policy side, Chiamparino stressed the role of the law defining illegal hate speech, which is a crime. However, he recognized that it is complicated to draw the line between hate speech and freedom of expression. Moreover, he described the role of the European Commission bringing together social media platforms and civil society to understand the contextual aspects of hate speech while helping companies to better respond to it.
If you were not able to participate, you can browse through the Twitter moment of the #HackHateConf to catch a glimpse of the day.
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